Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fundamental Basics (A Lantern Jack Tale)

We had a slightly crazy week of weather. Lots of rain with storms blowing through quickly then the sun popping back out. I love to watch the storm clouds roll in.

Television this week was hit and miss. I got another episode of Mutant X in and I caught a couple of Blindspot episodes but didn't get to finish out the season before they yanked some of the episodes I hadn't seen. I'll have to finish up season three on DVD.

In Classic Who, I finished out the Key of Marinus episodes. Not a bad arc. I'll be starting the Aztecs this week.

Canal Road's third episode was excellent. I enjoyed seeing the group interaction in this episode. I have some thoughts about who killed Spence's wife. Just saying.

Caught a movie on Café Noir. It wasn't the best, but I've been writing some noir-ish-themed stories lately and I liked the ambiance of the movie.

Got in another episode of Midsomer Murders and finished up season three of Endeavor. Gotta say the last episode really packed a punch. Watching Morse realize he loved Joanie ended up being a beautifully acted scene.

Caught the usual episodes of The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Constantine, Pensacola Wings of Gold, Band of Brothers, and Strike Back. Episode four, season four is when Section 20 loses Julia and, ugh, I forgot how much of a kick in the teeth that was.

Watched a crossover of Chicago PD with Chicago Fire. Excellent episodes. I enjoy PD when the focus isn't on dickhead Wood trying to take Hank down. I thought we got enough of that in the first two seasons.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Fundamental Basics, a Lantern Jack Tale featuring a sprite and a spawn.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Lantern Jack is back to right another wrong. A sprite, Farin Frazier, is a social outcast who comes together with Qeb Quince, a spawn who is questioning his undead existence. The two shouldn't be attracted to each other, they're mortal enemies, but they find some common ground on All Hallows, when magick is at its strongest.

And a preview snippet…

Lantrien Jacquard, also known as Lantern Jack, faced one of his biggest challenges on his road to redemption. Soon, if all went well, he'd be free of the curse that kept him trapped in the guise of a jack-o-lantern. But the trial ahead might prove to be more than Jack could absolve. He'd chosen to tackle his toughest battle midway through the process.
Sprites and spawns were perhaps his vilest deed. Sprites were the most social of creatures, always planning huge gatherings and sharing their wealth of knowledge with other fae beings. When Jack lost his beloved, he lashed out at the sprites and created a subspecies and infused them with the antithesis of social welfare. He dubbed his new creations spawns and they were antisocial on a fundamental level because they weren't fully alive, existing as undead beings. Spawns went out of their way to diminish the common good vibes sprites liked to spread about. They didn't have the spiritual grounding or tether the other supernatural beings had.
Jack sighed. "Because I made them from myself." When he'd been at his lowest.
Worst decision he'd ever made. Okay, maybe not the worst, but damned close. And he finally had the opportunity to right the wrong.
He gave a mental pat on his back. "Couldn't have asked for better circumstances." A spawn named Qeb Quince used his higher thinking skills for something other than inciting mayhem. He questioned his undead existence.
"Good man. I couldn't move to correct my blunder until one of you lot started wondering why you never left the mortal coil and why only the fae could see you."
Spawns were often overlooked by human eyes, unlike sprites.
Jack snorted. "Not my best move. Making immortal beings practically invisible doomed them to a terrible existence."
As luck, not that Jack had much, would have it, a rare occurrence landed the perfect match for Qeb. Farin Frazier lacked the socialization skills her fellow sprites had. An outcast, she preferred solitude and quiet instead of a constant stream of parties and merriment.
"If I can get the Qeb and Farin to cross paths, the two groups could build a solid unit again."
Not necessarily an easy feat. Farin had an affinity for nature and lived in a tree house deep inside one of the ancient forests. Qeb squatted in an abandoned loft. The builder ran out of financing midway through the project and Qeb worked out an unofficial deal to stay in one of the partially finished units.
Jack's dilemma would be choosing which location fit the couple best. "The loft is spacious and close to the roof." Which would come in handy on All Hallows. "But the tree house is secluded and close to the elements." Probably necessary when sparks started flying, and they would.
Jack debated the short list of pros and cons. Forest it is. Farin Frazier would have an unexpected guest in the very near future.

I love writing the Lantern Jack tales. Redemption stories are so much fun.

That's it for this week.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fistful of Sorry

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. And if you're not a dad, happy weekend!

It's been a long week with back and forth temperatures that always wreak havoc with my allergies. Bleh. But… not a bad week for television viewing. I started out with more Mutant X and followed with Endeavor and Midsomer Murders.

Then I hit The Sarah Conner Chronicles. I'd forgotten how dramatic Derek's entrance to the fold was. I'm also a little more than halfway through Constantine and I liked the fallen angel episode.

I finished up The Batman season four and really enjoyed the series. I think there might be a few more episodes floating around but I'm not sure. I caught several episodes of Classic Who up through the third episode in the Key of Marinus arc.

Pensacola Wings of Gold isn't half bad. Fits in with my military-themed shows of Strike Back and Band of Brothers. Chicago Fire is just over the midway point and I'm hoping to finish out the season soon. I caught Sense8's "Demons" episode and really enjoyed it. It's not as hard to keep things straight as I thought it would be. Really, a great show.

Loved seeing Hurst go down on Blind Spot. I need to mainline some episodes because they're getting close to expiration. This makes me a little angry. I realize the season is over but, honestly, unless the DVD is going to be released within a month, keep the episode live, dammit. Just saying.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Fistful of Sorry, a novella about how the main characters approach their work from opposite angles and how not listening to each other can have harsh consequences.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Orly Manx and Cal Luminity always approach situations from opposite angles but usually end up on the same side. When Orly pushes a cadet too far during training, she apologizes to Cal for not following his advice. But Cal isn't interested in listening or quick to forgive, which drives a wedge between them and Orly realizes how much she needs Cal to play yin to her yang. Clearly in the wrong, Orly can't take back her actions, so making amends is all she has left.

And a preview snippet…

Orly answered the door only half-awake. "Cal, what's up?" She stepped back, letting him into her suite of rooms. "Is that coffee I smell?" Mmmm, gotta love a man who knew all her weaknesses.
Cal strolled over to the table and dropped a drink carrier in the middle. "Yeah, and…" He shook a bag filled with something in the food category. "Some of those glazed donut breakfast sandwiches you love so much." Reaching in, he pulled one out and handed it over.
She moaned. "What did I do to deserve such a decadent treat?" She unwrapped the pure goodness of an egg, sausage, cheese, bacon, ham, and a hashbrown stuffed between two pieces of a pan-fried glazed donut.
Sitting down, she motioned for him to join her. Considering the day of the week, she didn't expect to see him until class started. They saved hooking up for weekends when semesters were in session.
Cal settled across from her and popped the lid off his coffee. "I had a meeting with Barnabas Mikkleson this morning." He blew across the steaming brew, his face pensive.
Orly quirked a brow. "An elder mage first thing on a Monday? Did someone die?" She removed her cap from her cup and waited for it to cool.
Cal blinked and shook his head. "No, nothing like that. He's got a grandson coming into the program." He folded the wrapper back and took a bite of his sandwich. "Filled me in on some of his background." He finished chewing and swallowed. "We might want to look at a lighter approach with this kid." Setting the food aside, he took a long drink and eyed Orly over the rim of the cup.
She did a slow ten-count to move through the red haze of anger licking at her brain. One, two. Barnabas sucked for putting Cal in a position of suggesting a change. Three, four. And Cal sucked for making the damned suggestion. Five, six. She threw in Cal's connection to the elders through his grandfather. Seven, eight. And added how much drama the whole deal would create. Nine, ten. And finally arrived at her foregone conclusion. Not a chance in hell would she treat any cadet with kid gloves.
"No effing way." She got up and paced back and forth. "We're the best, Cal. We should be trusted to do the job the way we see fit." And not have anyone run interference for their family members.
Cal sighed and opened his mouth to speak.
Orly cut him off. "I'm not changing my methods. End of story." She dropped back down to her seat and folded her arms across her chest.
Cal's mouth thinned to straight line. "We've had this argument before. Will you never realize each mage has individual strengths and weaknesses?" He leaned forward, poking a finger in her direction. "Which means some need a different approach to learn."
Orly waved a hand. "Will you never learn our responsibility rests in breaking new recruits down and building them back up?" She huffed out breath. "We'll keep having this damn argument until you do."
Cal gathered the remnants of his breakfast and dumped the trash in the can. "Guess there's nothing for it but to brace for a bumpy ride." He shook his head. "Especially if you're going to remain inflexible."
Orly stood up and headed for her door. "Guess you're right." Twisting the knob, she pulled the heavy oak slab open.
She didn't want to argue and having him leave now would save them a huge fight. She truly hoped they could leave this conflict in the classroom and still have their weekends together.
Cal closed his eyes for a moment then slowly made his way to her side. "I'll be keeping an eye on things, Orly. Mikkleson's request wasn't made lightly."
Sweeping her arm toward the corridor, she nodded. "Whatever, Cal. What we do works and if Barnabas's grandkid can't cut it, it's not our problem."
Cal pinned her with his gaze. "I think you're going to discover it'll very much become our problem." He crossed the threshold. "See you in class later."
Orly resisted the urge to slam the door behind him. Wouldn't help the situation or make her feel better. And the loud sound would only serve to increase the dull headache that bloomed along her temples.
She might as well grab a shower and get ready for a challenging day in the classroom.

I truly love writing these characters. It's fun to show two sides of a challenge where both characters think they're right, then break it down from there.

That's it for this week.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Belle of the Underground (A First Breed Nation Novella)

My youngest kidlet is back from her trip to Disney and it's so nice to have her home. It's also terrific she had the opportunity to visit every theme park in Disney's repertoire. She had such a great time. On a proud parent note, she enjoyed Epcot the best and it makes my entire year because that was my favorite when I went to Disney many, many moons ago. I'm resisting the urge to plan a full-on Disney vacation… mainly because I don't have the time. But it would be so much fun!

Had something of an off week in television viewing. I'm battling a nasty cold / allergies / upper respiratory "ick" that's kicking my teeth in. But… I did get quite a bit watched.

I started a new-to-me Australian show called Canal Road and it's rather good. I'm two episodes in and I'm hooked. I also got to finish up Archangel and thoroughly enjoyed it.

In my classic rewatch, I caught Midsomer Murders and several episodes of Classic Who. I finished up the Dalek episodes and started the new arc. I'd forgotten what a shifty guy the first doctor can be. I also caught another episode of The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

Endeavor continues to make me happy. I also got another episode of Constantine in and I'm quite excited for the character to make the move to Legends of Tomorrow. I started a show I only got to watch sporadically when it originally aired, Pensacola Wings of Gold. I actually hope I can catch other late 90s early 00s shows. I missed so much back then.

On DVD, I finished up The Batman's third season and started the fourth. I also caught a few episodes of current seasons of Chicago Fire and Blindspot. Gotta say the whole Hurst arc is turning out to be kind of exciting.

Band of Brothers and Strike Back gave me my military show fix. I continue to be blown away by the casting in Band of Brothers. So many good choices.

I'm five episodes into Sense8 and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to watch this show. That said, I can binge the entire thing and see the finale in one go so there's that bit of good news. Fearless's third episode kind of broke me a little. It's a dark, dark show.

Krypton's first season proved to be pretty awesome. I have no idea where they'll go for the second season, but the end was kind of chilling. Jana called the whole General Zod ruling over Krypton thing and I'm truly hoping Lyta is now regretting her choice. If she isn't that character is dead to me. Just saying.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from First Breed Nation: Belle of the Underground, a novella with a metahuman community.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Raven Malone doesn't have an easy job, but she's a mix of freak and geek so both groups are willing to work with her. She meets her match when regular guy, Gio Roberts, starts poking around in her cover up of an unexplained murder. Sparks fly, especially when she lets him in on the underground community she's established. They forge a bond and work side by side, trying to keep everything together.

And a preview snippet…

Gio stared at his phone. Raven's not right. What the hell did that mean? Didn't matter. The undertone of fear and concern in Vince's voice had Gio's brain in full alert mode. He made it down below less than ten minutes after he answered the call.
The pall hit him before he hit the bottom rung of the access ladder. No one stopped him when he traversed the hall. He passed the mess and the recreation area, filled with freaks and geeks, the usual divide nonexistent.
Fuck. That did not inspire confidence.
He stopped outside Raven's quarters and raised a fist to knock. He paused, feeling dread, not sure if he should proceed. The door yanked open and Vince dragged him inside, not giving Gio the chance to make up his mind.
Raven lay atop the bed, naked and uncovered. Gio shot an angry look toward the shifter. "Wanna tell me what the hell is going on?"
Vince shook his head. "If I knew I wouldn't have called you." His gaze didn't leave Raven.
Gio pushed for answers. "Why is she unconscious? She is only passed out, yeah?" God, he hoped so.
Vince shrugged. "She's still breathing. But it's never been like this before."
Gio sighed. "Bring me up to speed." He didn't like the feverish look of Raven.
Vince gave Gio a brief rundown. "She used her abilities to find Charlie. I think she pushed too hard, too soon."
Gio's eyes widened. "And you let her?"
Vince finally glanced in Gio's direction. "Fuck you. I don't let Raven do anything. She just does it." He all but added the middle finger at the end.
Gio couldn't argue the point. "Did you bring him in?"
Vince glanced back in Raven's direction. "He'll be in containment soon."
Well, good news there. "Why did you call me?"
Vince's mouth thinned. "Because she needs you. I can't help her this time." His low tone belied the pain in his voice.
Gio frowned. "Why not?" He'd already had the "any cock, mouth, or hands would do" conversation with Raven.
He didn't want a repeat performance.
Vince flung an arm out. "Look at her. She's not responsive. Usually she's already back on form… but she went down and that's it… nothing since." His hands balled into fists.
Gio shook his head. "Again… why call me?" Surely there were plenty of volunteers who could help her.
Vince swung his angry gaze in Gio's direction. "Do you have to be a dick right now?"
Gio held up his hands. "Not trying to be. But what, exactly, do you want from me?"
Vince jabbed a finger toward Raven's prone form. "I want you to strip down, crawl in that bed, and fuck her senseless. It might be the only thing to bring her back." His voice choked on the last words.
Gio's mouth dropped open. "What?" Vince couldn't be asking Gio to be Raven's jumpstarter.
Vince bit his words out. "I'm not gonna say it again. Are you gonna help or not?" His eyebrow arched in warning.
Gio bit back his disbelief. Started to remove his shoes.
Vince blew out a harsh breath. "I gotta go see if they brought Charlie in yet." His hand twisted the doorknob.
Hopping out if his jeans, Gio kicked free. "Wait."
Vince paused, shoulders tense.
Gio shrugged out of his shirt. "You called me. And thanks for that. But you love her. You can't deny it."
Vince met Gio's gaze. "No. I can't. Because you're right, I do. But you need to understand something. Last week? What you walked in on? Not love. Or lust. Or anything involving emotion. She needed a hard cock and used mine. That's it."
"Why?" Gio didn't need to say more.
Why would Vince let her use him that way?
Vince turned to face Gio. "Because Raven matters, dammit. What she's doing here matters. She puts herself on the line and rarely takes anything in return. So, when she does need something… I'm there." He met Gio's gaze. "I can't be there this time. She won't say it, admit it, or even probably know it, but she needs you. Help her." He left before Gio could say anything.
Gio shed his boxers and crawled into bed. He lay on his side and angled Raven over to hers. Spooned up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. Had no clue how to proceed.
What the hell am I doing?

I love so much about this world. If all goes well, I might have a series on my hands with this group of characters.

That's it for this week.



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Snippet: A Fiery Yule

June 3, 2018

Well… half the year gone and I have no idea where it went. LOL I have some terrific news. My oldest kidlet, on his twenty-fifth birthday and fifth anniversary of dating his girlfriend, proposed and she said yes. I'll be welcoming a new daughter-in-law in the next year or so. She's already part of the family… the marriage will only make it official. Congratulations to both!

Good television viewing week. I started off with Endeavor and caught two episodes. Glad I was able to watch the opener for series three not long after the end of series two. That was kind of a cliffhanger.

Gotham went and changed all the rules again. I have so much love for this show. I truly think season four is its best yet. Everyone finally came into their roles and the cast and plotlines all meshed together in a brilliant fashion. I can't wait for season five. Seriously.

Caught two more episodes of Chicago Fire and Blindspot. I'm truly curious about where Roman is going with everything. I'm also hopeful he ends up not being a raging dickhole. Probably not much chance he won't be, but, yeah, here's hoping.

Also caught two episodes of Sense8 and Fearless. I'm getting into Sense8. It's not as hard to follow as I thought it would be. I'm excited to see where the rest of season one goes. Fearless is kind of relentless. I'm somewhat saddened the US person is such a raging bitch. Terrific actress though.

Krypton's first season is excellent. I have the finale to watch then it's wait, wait, wait for the next season. Argh!

I didn't get to finish Archangel on the app I was watching it on, so I'll have to find it on Netflix. I did finish up The Ghost Squad and, honestly, not a bad show. A little ambiguous, but quite enjoyable. I'm still working my way through the later seasons of Midsomer Murders and should be starting series twelve soon. On the rewatch front, I'm hitting The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Band of Brothers, and Strike Back's fourth season. I'm gearing up to watch the most recent season of Strike Back so I can be ready for season six when one of my favorite actors joins the cast.

Also caught another episode of Constantine and two more episodes of Classic Who. Mutant X has joined my lineup of shows I'm revisiting.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from A Fiery Yule, a holiday spirit short.

Here's the mini-blurb:

A holiday spirit, Spruce Lightfir, gives Dexter Diamond, a fire demon, the perfect place to lay low over the Yule holiday. Dexter craves some time alone, away from the demanding overseer of Dexter's peerage. When Quinne Quailer, a shaman, arrives for a sabbatical from the human world, Dexter is cranky about the intrusion… until Quinne's presence calms his fiery inner soul. Maybe the miracle of Yule can free Dexter from his life of servitude.

And a preview snippet…

Spruce Lightfir trudged through the dense terrain of the eternal woods. "Finally some downtime to enjoy." He used his walking stick to navigate a steep incline.
Halfway up, the tingling buzz on a summons coursed through his veins.
He paused, blowing out a harsh breath. "Dammit. Not now." He'd been assured of three days off.
He had a campsite all setup and waiting for him. A homey little cabin filled with bare necessities—coffee, sketch pads, and notebooks. Life on the spiritual plane had tons of benefits, but working the last five Yule holidays didn't count as one.
Glancing upward, he snarked. "It's supposed to be every other Yule, you lovesick fools." The powers that be never missed an opportunity to match lonely souls during the season.
Heaving a sigh, he started back down toward the cabin. The buzz under his skin would only get more intense if he didn't find out what the powers that be wanted. He didn't even have to go inside the tiny house. The notice hovered outside his door, shimmering and shaking in the early evening twilight.
He grabbed the parchment and shouldered inside the cabin. Shrugging out of his coat, he flung it on a rustic peg in the wall and propped his walking stick against the hewn wooden wall. Stoking the banked fire, he settled into a club chair and called forth a cup of strong coffee.
Unrolling the heavy paper, he quickly skimmed his new assignment file. Good heavenly spirits. Spruce considered his skill top-notch, but he didn't know if he could pull off getting a fire demon and a shaman together. Especially when neither candidate really wanted to change their status quo.
Quinne Quailer performed double duty as the leader of the North American spirit tribes and acted as their senior shaman. Spirit tribe members claimed some form of tribal ancestry or had a deep affinity for native culture. Quinne's leadership spurred growth in the ranks and the toll it took on her well-being weighed heavily. She needed a council and named a committee of elders to help with the day-to-day workload but her people continued to rely on her to make decisions they should now be making. The toll to her well-being weighed heavily on the downside.
Spruce shook his head. "Your light is burning out, Quinne. A candle lit from both ends expends itself too quickly." The healer needed time to heal herself.
Enzo Escada toiled under the direction of Lucien Darhk. Darhk's hold on Escada should have ended almost a decade ago. But Enzo's internal rage made him an extremely powerful fire demon.
Spruce tsked. "Damn. Talk about feeding a vicious cycle." Lucien used Escada almost exclusively for retribution rites. "Which means Enzo rarely has any kind of downtime to soothe his inner inferno." Not good.
Fire demons that wielded the kind of power Enzo did needed a balm to counteract the molten energy flowing through their souls. When they didn't find a soothing agent, most ended up burning out their lifespan at an early age.
Spruce nodded. "So, Quinne needs somewhere to reflect on how to move ahead, away from her current responsibilities and Enzo has to find the one thing to tame his unquenchable anger." He snorted. "I get the why…" The duo would balance each other.
Enzo's decades of servitude would give Quinne perspective on the significance of taking time to master her own fate. And Quinne's experience as a shaman should open Enzo's eyes to the importance of self-care.
Spruce shook his head again. "The how is going to be a killer." Neither of his charges wanted to be around people right now.
After a moment of consideration, Spruce snapped his fingers. The perfect place to send the couple materialized in his mind. Goodacre. Remote and isolated in the netherworld, outside influences would be null and void. The couple might need a nudge or two… or maybe not. Both were lonely souls in need of their perfect match.
Even if neither had any idea.
Celebrating Yule in a charming bed and breakfast could be just the thing Quinne and Enzo needed to get them on their necessary path. Providing assistance from the sidelines meant leaving his quiet sanctuary, but his creative juices flowed at the possible challenge. Confidence simmered under his earlier doubt. He could pull this off.
Rising, Spruce banked the fire. "Better get started. Setting the stage is going to be key with these two." Nothing would be left to chance.

I have so much fun writing the holiday spirit shorts. Coming up with holiday-themed names for the spirits is right near the top of the list.

That's it for this week.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Feeding the Fury

The school year is officially over and now the summer fun begins. My daughter leaves for Disney next week to perform with the band and choir at the theme park. She's been organized and semi-packed for almost a full week already. I have no idea where she got that gene… it definitely didn't come from me.

Not a bad week for television. I caught another episode of Endeavor, which I thoroughly enjoy. Ended up with two episodes of Midsomer Murders. I'm winding down the last series or so of John Nettles's tenure.

Caught two episodes of Constantine. Again, I'm enjoying the high levels of quality snark bandied about by John. And I like how his inner demons weigh even heavier than the actual demons he has to thwart. Truly excellent fare.

Getting closer to the season finale of Gotham. Jerome's brand of crazy reaching out beyond the grave to completely encompass Jeremiah is great entertainment. And I truly do love how the other evolving villains continue to percolate their plans behind the scenes.

Chicago Fire and Blindspot are still holding my interest. I am still a little iffy on the whole Roman plan, but I'm invested enough that I want to find out what his actual master plan is.

Caught a few more episodes of Classic Who and should finish up the Dalek storyline soon. Also caught the second episode of Sense 8 and I'm pretty much hooked. I definitely want to find out what the hell is going on with this group.

The Flash season finale ended up being better than I hoped. That said, there could have been about five fewer episodes in this season and the story would have unfolded better. Riverdale threw a blindside or two into their finale and I'm there for whatever happens next. Hopefully it'll be Hiram's head on a pike parading through town. Just saying.

Krypton continues to make me happy. I kind of enjoy the intrigue and seeing how the alliances are constantly shifting because the ground keeps fluctuating under everyone's feet. Very interested in seeing where next season goes… if there is a next season.

Part one of Ghost Squad's season finale ended up being pretty terrific. I do wish there was more information on how the big boss lady gets her cases. I'll honestly not be surprised if she isn't as dirty as the cops she's trying to bring down. We'll see how that plays out.

Started a new to me show on the Roku Channel app. Archangel, I think, originally aired as TV movie, but it's billed as a three episode season. The first show ended up being pretty terrific. I also caught another episode of The Sarah Conner Chronicles on Crackle.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Feeding the Fury, a novella that started with a prompt about writing a story featuring a new commanding officer. The sages decided it would be better to write how a new command structure came to be. They also wanted a paranormal story instead of a science fiction one.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Larue and Wade displease the Fury and she orders them to battle each other in the pyre. But the two top mages decide they won't kill each other for her pleasure, instead they'll invoke the Rite of Phoenix and if they survive, the Fury will have to abdicate her throne.

And a preview snippet…

Wade sensed her presence the moment he completed his punga praeparabit routine. His raging hard-on quickly dissipated and a burst of disappointment swept through him. Wade enjoyed releasing the sexual tension and friction that naturally occurred during the hour-long workout session. He usually stroked his rigid dick to a hard come within minutes of completing the arduous and controlled period of mental and physical training. His balls ached with the break in his daily program. And his mind wanted the enhanced visions that came with spewing his seed.
He'd discovered many important clues and hints regarding his future, including his perfect match—who had yet to recognize their future intimate connection.
But Helena's appearance left him cold. And his body responded by dispelling the magickal energy replacing the kinetic force with frustration. He slowly inhaled, smelling her arousal and put a scent blocker in place to avoid the cloying aroma. No doubt she wouldn't notice, her talent being manipulation, seduction, and subterfuge to get what she wanted. Using the brute force of her lesser mages—with the promise of a liaison or even a full night in her bed—kept her in power as the Fury.
Wade had leeway. Being her top mage saved him from most of the mundane bullshit she heaped upon the novices, adepts, and masters. Helena didn't encourage higher brain function in her acolytes. Their lack of intelligence suited her and she kept them happy with magickal battles on the pyre.
Helena slithered into the room, impatience oozing from her. "The day has finally arrived. I'll wait no more." She didn't verbalize the words and probably didn't realize she'd telegraphed her thoughts directly into Wade's mind.
Gliding to his side, she turned on the seduction, touching, feeling, trying to get a rise out of Wade. His self-control won the day. He showed no outward sign of reaction, which irritated Helena who expected him to fawn over her preening.
Sorry to disappoint. I won't be performing stud service today.
She stamped her foot when he remained impassive. "Why did you ignore my order? And why are you not responding to me?" Her pointblank questions indicated her level of frustration.
They also gave him cause to provide an honest answer. "My mind and heart are elsewhere." He stirred the pot a little more. "I've gone through the beginning of the binding rite."
The slap of her hand against his face resounded in the alcove. "I didn't give you permission to bind with anyone." She snarled, spitting each syllable out between clenched teeth.
Wade kept his anger in check, responding with cool aplomb. "As the Fury, you know the rite isn't always in your control." The Fates trumped all, answering to no one in the realm. "The mystical change overtook me unexpectedly and I'm now bound to the path." And he'd gladly walk wherever fate led him, especially if it led him far away from Helena.
Her chest heaved with rage. "Who? I demand to know who you're bound to." No doubt so she could immediately attempt to break the bond.
Fat chance he'd let her. And he had a layer of protection here, too. One that would buy some time to figure a way out from under her thumb.
He shook his head. "I have to refuse. The other person isn't aware yet." When Helena discovered who his life mate would be, she'd lose her collective shit.
Helena leveled a cold stare on him. She tried to take the information from his mind, but he blocked her, slamming a shield in place to keep her from extracting the name. She growled, pissed off he managed to cut her off. She didn't lack skill and he fought to maintain the protective veil when she redoubled her effort.
She gave up, lashing out with a hard kick to his groin. He managed to stay upright, barely.
She whirled and stalked to the exit. "We'll just see if you end up completing the rite. I'm not done with you yet. I want you in my bed and I'll make it happen."
Wade pushed the pain aside and delivered a parting salvo. "You can't control or force the Fates to do your bidding. You know this."
She sent a nasty, frigid glare over her shoulder. "We'll see about that, Wade. We'll see." Leaving the chamber, she snapped her fingers and grabbed the nearest two minions—one male and one female.
Wade limped to the doorway in time to witness how Helena planned to work through her rage.
She barked an order. "Strip." Dropping her robes, she waited for Mack and Dinah to remove their garments. "Get behind me, Mack. I want you in my ass." She grabbed Dinah's arm and pushed her to the floor. "And you will worship my pussy. Now." Cupping her breasts, she ordered the other acolytes to watch and observe only. "No one else receives pleasure until I'm satisfied."
Wade rolled his eyes and left through a conjured portal. A shower would wash away the stench of dealing with Helena and give him time to plan his next careful move.

In all honesty, this story intrigues me and the sages have a very specific idea of how they want the characters to interact. Here's hoping everything comes together!

That's it for this week.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fancy Meeting You Here

A great week with a busy schedule. The end of the school year is always jammed up with concerts, graduation parties, and last-minute final projects. Never boring.

Good week in television. Watched a little more Classic Who with The Daleks: The Dead Planet and The Survivors. Also caught another episode of Midsomer Murders. Watched the second episode of Constantine and, honestly, I'm enjoying the show. Definitely a good thing to get a better feel for the character since he'll be on Legends this fall.

Gotham continues to be a super-great pleasure to watch. I'm almost caught up and can't wait to see how this season ends. I'm a little on the fence about R'as, but we'll see what happens.

Watched Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. I'm still loving Chicago Fire. Chicago PD not so much. The whole Woods going after Hank thing is too contrived and using one of Hank's people as a mole has been done. Also, the never heard of before sister is too damned convenient. Right now… I'm done. I'll catch up on marathons later. Blindspot, however, is holding my interest. Even if I'm kind of "meh" on Roman being the new instigator, I love the team's new interactions.

The Flash is almost over for the season and I'm ready. DeVoe is becoming my least favorite villain of all time. I'm ready for them to move on and get someone new to be the bad guy. In contrast, Arrow's season finale ended up being one of my favorite episodes. I'm a little bummed Diaz got away. Seriously, I wanted him to either die in a fire or end up behind bars.

Started a new-to-me show on Netflix with Sense8. I'd started this a long time ago and finally finished watching the first episode. I'm now hooked and can't wait to follow the series. I also caught the next to last episode of Riverdale's second season. The reveal of the Black Hood was incredible. Cheryl and Betty teaming up made me happy. I'm ready for Hiram to get what's coming to him in a big way. I'm curious about who the hell attacked Archie and Fred and have a sneaking suspicion Hiram's dirty handprints will be all over that deal. FP carrying Jughead broke my heart. I'm so ready to watch the finale now!!

Caught another episode of Krypton and, holy hell, the maneuvering and shifting allegiances is kind of fun to watch. I'm excited to see how the rest of the season goes.

Started The Batman season three and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Also caught another episode of Ghost Squad and still enjoy how fine a line Amy has to walk to get to the truth of corruption. Her interaction with Pete is also a lot of fun to watch. On tap for today is another episode of Endeavor and probably some additional Classic Who.

Whew! That wraps up television for this week. Tonight's post is from Fancy Meeting You Here, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of write a scene or story where the main characters end up in the same bar looking for hookups and find each other instead.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Jonni Mars and Val Janison are enforcers for two opposing mage families and have a friendly rivalry. When Val, a member of the ruling house, shows up at Jonni's favorite underground dive, she's both infuriated and intrigued, and more than a little surprised to meet him under almost normal circumstances.

And a preview snippet…

Jonni Mars balled her hands into fists. "Philan Vellas needs to die." She stood over her best friend's body, Rochelle's neck twisted at an odd angle. "I know that bastard killed her."
And Jonni shouldered the blame. Rochelle called and begged Jonni to meet her at the waterfront. Rochelle wanted to come home, return to the gray way of living.
Jonni almost refused. Rochelle chose to go and embrace the black. The Vellas clan practiced the dark ways and ruthlessly policed their members. They also recruited heavily from the gray, the fringe dwellers that didn't have a chosen preference for either the white or the black.
Jonni bent down, careful to avoid moving her friend. "I should've been here." Instead, Jonni decided to let Rochelle wait it out a little.
And it cost Rochelle her life.
So what if Rochelle let a guy come between their friendship? Yeah, but the guy in question leads the Vellas clan. Big deal. True friends watched out for each other, even when they made shitty decisions. Not that Rochelle stood much of a chance once Philan set his sights on her. Rochelle succumbing to the black had everything to do with Philan's seductive ability, both physically and mentally.
Jonni sighed. "Look where it got you." Sprawled on a dock, pale and lifeless.
Rochelle couldn't or refused to do the things Philan requested of her. I can't do what he asks me to do. And he's angry all the time. Jonnie had tried to tell Rochelle. Philan burned through companions on a regular basis. None lasted long and if they didn't prove useful, he cut ties.
Or throats.
Jonni made a quick call to her handler, Butch Nelson, and explained what happened. He reacted pretty much as expected, only slightly more violently because of who it involved. Rochelle had blood ties to the second son of the ruling Marsoni family, illegitimate though they might be. The Marsoni clan claimed relatives from both the black and white factions, but always maintained their powerbase on the fringe, firmly in the gray.
Butch growled. "I'll send a cleanup crew. Don't even think about leaving until they get there." As if.
Jonni snorted. "You know I won't." She had enough rage to keep anyone at bay.
Butch lowered his voice. "Keep your schedule clear. I'll find out where the bastard is and give you free rein."
Jonnie like the sound of Butch's plan. She didn't have a lot of use for dark arts practitioners. Hell, she didn't care for the do-no-harm crowd either. Jonni's healthy dislike for both sides made her popular as an enforcer for the gray's ruling family. Her loyalty stayed with them. But taking out a clan leader would need a sanctioned warrant from the Marsonis.
Considering the blood tie, Jonni didn't doubt Butch would get one.
Jonni shook her head. "Daddy's not going to be happy, Rochelle." Mario Marsoni would want someone's head on a pike for the death of his daughter.
Jonni intended to deliver Philan Vellas's to him.

I'm excited to see where this one goes. The sages have a fairly clear idea of what's going to happen, but they sometimes decide to veer off into the unknown. LOL

That's it for this week.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fan the Flames (Cupid's Bow)

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Whether you have offspring, fur babies, or play a surrogate parent role for someone, you're awesome!

My weekly television roundup is kind of jammed with goodness. I caught two episodes of Krypton and I'm completely sold on this show. I'm hoping it gets another season.

Also caught two episodes of Endeavor. Finished up the first series and started the second. I rather enjoy this show and really like the actor in the lead role of Endeavor Morse.

My DVDs this week were movies. Blackhat and Red Dawn. I didn't finish Red Dawn but I'll catch it at another time. For me, the original Red Dawn is going to be hard to top.

Finished up the first arc of Classic Who with "An Unearthly Child". I also started "The Daleks" and watched about half of the first episode. Over on CW Seed, I started the live action version of Constantine and enjoyed the first episode. I'm hoping to get through the whole season before new episodes of Legends of Tomorrow begin.

I still love Gotham. The totally batshit craziness brings me a ton of joy with each episode. I'm so happy this show truly found its footing and delivers great viewing with each new week.

Also caught some additional season six episodes of Chicago Fire and another from season five of Chicago PD. I'm a little miffed they're making a mole of one of my fave characters but I'll see how it all plays out. I truly hate Woods though. Just saying.

Arrow and The Flash both had great episodes. I like seeing the two couples work through their roadblocks. That said, I honestly can't wait to see both villains go down. I'm pretty much done with being patient.

Riverdale brought more crazy and I'm still an episode behind. I do like how much tension simmers below the surface and how quickly alliances have to be made and discarded. Kudos to Mark Consuelos. He makes me totally hate Hiram. I also have a small suspicion about who fired the shots at the mayoral debate but I'll refrain from saying… in case I'm completely off my guess. LOL

I got another episode of Blindspot in and, well, I'm trying to figure out Roman's goal. I really don't want him to be another Shepherd so here's hoping that's not the direction they're going in.

Quick mention for Ghost Squad. Caught two more episodes and seriously enjoy the hell out of this show. The emotional toll is interesting to watch and the slow erosion of trust in anything also packs a punch. Great stuff.

Brief shout out for The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Rewatched the pilot episode and, damn, I forgot how awesome that was.

Last but not least… some thoughts on Jessica Jones. I finished the second season and honestly hate Trish with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I have no idea where they'll take her if the show has a third season, but off a tall building in Manhattan wouldn't bother me one damn bit. If they can redeem her, I'd be on board, but I'm honestly not all that interested in seeing a redemption arc for her. I hate her that much right now. I do hope Malcolm and Jessica end up back on good terms and I was happy to see Jessica stop by to see Oscar and the kid. I'd welcome a third season if we get one.

And that's it for my jam-packed week in television. Tonight's post is from Fan the Flames, a Cupid's Bow tale.

Here's the mini-blurb:

A modern day cupid discovers a couple with matching auras and thinks he'll have an easy time matching them up. Right... not so much. While Jamie and Alix definitely have the hots for each other, one big obstacle stands in their way—Jamie's job.

And a preview snippet…

"Hey, Joe. I'm on my way. Got a slow start this morning."
Jamie O'Riley hated being late. And he loathed leaving voice mails when he really needed to talk to a live person. But at least he'd called in a head's up to one of his coworkers.
Known as Jammer to his friends, Jamie had a thing for punctuality. Given his profession, that sometimes seemed odd. Emergency calls ran long, shifts went into overtime, and buildings burned at no one's convenience.
Jamie gave up arguing the logic of being on time whenever possible a long time ago.
Another thing he hated? Getting roped into sitting on committees. Especially when it involved him losing a bet.
Just because he had an interest in architecture and design didn't mean he wanted to sit through endless meetings about the building and interior work of their new fire station.
And okay, Mojo owed Jamie the payback for letting it slip Mojo had started dating the monster truck rally girl… woman… whatever, for which the rest of the crew spent way too much time ribbing him over. But the guy didn't have to volunteer Jamie, did he?
Mojo's little prank stuck Jamie directly on the stupid approval committee. The one who decided today would be the day to finish up the presentations and make a choice for interior designer.
Of course, no one anticipated it would be the worst of the worst days for him. He hadn't been scheduled for a double shift. And he certainly hadn't expected to lose a victim—a kid, no less—to what appeared to be vehicular manslaughter.
Not the best circumstances to work with—zero sleep and not enough coffee in the world to get rid of the monster headache he had going on.
He should get a double espresso, but no, he didn't have time to duck into the coffee shop. Besides, he couldn't stomach the flirty barista today. Her double entendres usually amused him, but not after the forty-eight hours he'd just had.
And yeah, he'd considered taking her up on the blatant, in his face, wanna get busy innuendo more than once. He'd started relationships with less to go on. Not that any of them lasted long.
He'd have to be satisfied with the steaming mug he'd brewed while he showered to wash the stench of the last few days off this morning. Getting ten hours of sleep first would have been nice. Hell, five hours would've been great.
Coffee would be served at the presentation. At least he hoped so. He might have to maim or kill someone if there wasn't any available.
Pulling into the parking lot, he cursed at the time. Ten minutes late. He rolled to a stop and cut the engine. Glancing in the rearview mirror, he hastily ran his fingers through his hair, trying to tame the too long length. His plan had been to get it cut yesterday, but that didn't work out at all. Later today, if he had to do it himself.
Popping open the door, he grabbed his coffee and slid out of his truck and locked the vehicle. Pocketing his keys, he strode toward the station. With any luck, the three designers would get their ideas out of the way in short order.
If not… there might have a good chance of being treated to the sound of his snoring.

Jamie's going to wish he'd been able to catch some sleep once he gets into the meeting. He won't know which way is up when he meets Alix.

That's it for this week.